We are not much of believers in New Year, Valentine's Day and the kind . Unless it something of personal significance, we think of it as just another day. Well, I told you we are boring! But I always look forward to seeing the date on the calendar. This means schools will reopen after the Christmas vacations. Kids finally out of my hair for some time at least! Relief!! Hubby's birthday is just around the corner. So, a much awaited decorated cake is in the offing - am excited!! My blog anniversary happens to be right after that, have an ongoing event and a giveaway for you.
On this happy note, here is a simple loaf cake made with extra virgin olive oil and yogurt, Dorie Greenspan's recipe. She calls this the simplest loaf cake, needing no more than a whisk and a bowl to put the cake together. I love cakes baked with oil as they are much more moist and much less fuss too. This cake can be made with any neutral oil of course and I tried it with rice bran oil as well, but EVOO lends a distinct flavor and richness to the cake. Yogurt is something most of us have at home at all times, so no extra effort for this. A kind of less rich, but flavorful, healthier version of a pound cake if you please. Just my kind of tea-cake, non-buttery, just about sweet, light, yet tasty, with a refreshing hint of citrus and of course the EVOO.
I have halved the below recipe and baked in a small loaf pan. (Had too many goodies around, so this had to be baked, but in a smaller quantity) You can find the original recipe here
All-purpose flour - 195 grams / 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt - a pinch
Sugar - 200 grams / 1 cup ( granulated sugar, measured and then powdered with the zest)
Finely grated zest - from one lime
Plain whole milk yogurt - 120 ml / 1/2 cup (read note)
Eggs - 144 grams / 3 large
Pure vanilla extract - 1/4 teaspoon
Extra-virgin olive oil - 120 ml / 1/2 cup
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350°F. Grease, flour and line a 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. I have used a smaller tin, but please stick to the recommended tin size if you have just started to bake.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, keep aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, sugar and vanilla. (If using fast dissolving fine grained sugar, put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is fragrant, then add other ingredients) Whisk for about a minute. You just want the mixture well blended and homogenous, no need to work up a volume.
- Gently whisk in the dry ingredients in 2-3 additions. You are more like stirring in the flour with a whisk. Vigorous over mixing /whisking will make the cake tough. The batter needs to be smooth enough with just enough whisking. Use a spatula to scrape any dry flour around the sides back into the batter.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the oil. Folding in means incorporating ingredients into a mixture very gently but thoroughly. The batter will be thick and shiny.
- Scrape it into the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and starts to come away from the sides of the pan; a thin wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Check at 50 minutes (do not turn the oven off yet), if the skewer doesn't come out clean, bake for 5 minutes more. Thin long wooden skewers work great here, avoid toothpicks.
- Note : It took 25-30 minutes for a half the recipe in my small pan
- Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Un mold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Slice and serve.
Dorie says the cake keeps at room temperature for at least 4 days and can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Yogurt : You could use thick curd with fat percentage of 3% like Nandini, Nestle. If its cold, keep it out on the counter for an hour or so. This will take the chill off it and get it to room temperature. If there is any thin liquid around, just drain (no need to hang it), use only the thick curd.
- Zest : You could use lemon or orange zest. If you do not have a citrus zester, use a very sharp knife to carefully peel just the outer yellow/ green part of the skin of lime/lemon. Grind it with the sugar. Take care not to scrape the bitter white pith of the lime. Wash the lime/lemon/orange with hot water, pat dry and zest it. This will help wash the wax off.
Thanks to all my friends for sending me their entries for my blogiversary event! If you have not yet sent, there is just about a week more left for you to send in your cookies and get a chance to win a copy of Alice Medrich's Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Melt-In-The-Mouth Cookies .